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Ownership of knowledge: Is there a natural right to 'Intellectual Property'?


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The Master of Philosophy thesis for Kristian Lund.

Abstract:

The paper argues that there is no natural right to exclusive control over knowledge (so-called 'intellectual property'). This is done by following the best arguments normally supplied in defence of such a right, and exposing inherent weaknesses. Specifically, a Lockean framework structures the paper through an attempt to argue that one can appropriate from a 'commons of knowledge', which is shown to be untenable if one follows reasonable readings of Locke's provisions. It is discovered that certain personhood rights do exist, but are not types of ownership and do not entail it. A more in-depth look is taken at our various uses of knowledge and the notion of ownership as incentive is explored. The paper ends with the discussion of two possible and very specific kinds of privileges, which could conceivably be granted; their substantial restrictions are laid out while their desirability is questioned.


Language English
Collection opensource


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on 12/18/2008
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